Quality control specialists test and oversee manufacturing processes to ensure that raw materials and finished products conform to industry standards. It is possible to pursue studies towards a certificate, diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree.
Schools with Quality Control Programs
Listed below is just a sampling of the schools offering quality control degree and certificate programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Programs Offered||In-State Tuition and Fees (2015-2016 Unless Otherwise Noted)*|
|Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology||Tulsa, OK||4-year, Private||Diploma, Associate's||$16,395 (Undergraduate)|
|California State University - Dominguez Hills||Carson, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Graduate Certificate, Master's||$6,213 (Undergraduate); $7,479 (Graduate)|
|California National University||Torrance, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||$10,880 (Undergraduate)|
|Ferris State University||Big Rapids, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,970 (Undergraduate)|
|Lorain County Community College||Elyria, OH||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,679 (Undergraduate)|
|Gateway Community College||New Haven, CT||2-year, Public||Certificate||$4,032 (Undergraduate)|
|Cuyahoga Community College||Cleveland, OH||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,953 (Undergraduate)|
|Sinclair Community College||Dayton, OH||2-year, Public||Certificate||$3,604 (Undergraduate)|
|University of California - San Diego||La Jolla, CA||4-year, Public||Certificate||$2,580 (Undergraduate, 2016-2017)|
Sources*: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), School websites
School Selection Criteria
There are a number of points to consider when looking for quality control schools:
- When considering a school, students may determine whether a program prepares them to sit for the Six Sigma Green Belt exam.
- Certificate and degree programs both offer instruction in Six Sigma methods, but certificate programs typically require one year of study, while associate's degree programs may take twice as long to complete. Bachelor's degree programs take four years, but they provide more in-depth coverage of industry-specific topics.
- Prospective quality assurance specialists might seek schools that offer opportunities to gain real-world experience.
- Some programs are available in the evenings and on weekends, while others are offered entirely online for students who have work or other commitments.
Quality Control Certificate
Certificate programs in quality control and quality systems typically require a year of study. Instruction can cover such topics as reliability procedures, calibration fundamentals, statistics and blueprint reading. Programs that teach ASQ's Six Sigma tools and techniques prepare graduates for certification exams.
Associate of Applied Science in Quality Assurance
Students in 2-year associate's degree programs in quality science, quality assurance and operations technology complete both general education and field-specific coursework, such as quality assessment techniques, quality control testing and standard operating time measurements. Some programs administer ASQ certification exams.
Bachelor of Science in Quality Engineering Technology
Students may enroll in 4-year bachelor's degree programs in quality engineering technology or quality assurance science. Students learn about production processes, material selection techniques, quality auditing and reliability prediction, among other topics. Some programs require students to apply the skills and theories they've learned to a final quality assurance project.
There are many schools that offer quality assurance programs at the certificate, diploma, associate's degree, bachelor's degree and master's degree levels. When selecting a program, it's important to review the courses and outcomes to ensure you wind up with the one that's most suited to your long-term career goals.